“I am reminded of your sincere faith,
a faith that dwelt first
in your grandmother Lois
and your mother Eunice and now,
I am sure, dwells in you as well.”
2 Timothy 1:5
Simply put, I love camp.
I attended Christian camps and retreats throughout my entire childhood, and as an adult, I lived and served at a Bible camp for several years. I can confidently say that camp has changed my life. If you’ve ever been to camp, I would guess it has changed your life, too. Whether it’s a week of summer camp, a weekend retreat, or even just a day program, there is just something extraordinary about it. Getting away from the busyness and routine of everyday life, spending time surrounded by God’s amazing creation, and connecting with family and friends in a different setting all lend to the powerful and unique opportunities that arise through the experience of attending a Christian camp. Couple this with the special bond between grandparents and their grandkids, and you’ve got a recipe for something amazing.
I was immediately sold on the idea when I first heard about GrandCamp. Helping grandparents intentionally point their grandchildren to Christ takes this already special relationship and ensures it has eternal value. Grandparenting isn’t just about leaving a legacy; it’s about leaving a legacy that points to Jesus and makes Him the end goal of everything in life. GrandCamp sounded like it would be a tremendous tool in fostering that kind of legacy and transforming both grandparents and grandchildren for the glory of God. After observing and participating in GrandCamps as a volunteer, it proved to be all I thought and more. The typical camp atmosphere of crazy games, silly songs, planned and spontaneous group activities, campfires, and worshipping God through singing and Bible teaching are all still there. So are the joyful hearts and smiling faces of the grandparents and grandchildren present. But the focus on building intentionality into this intergenerational relationship adds an incredible element that has changed my parents’ lives, the lives of my children, and the lives of us as parents.
All three of my children have been to GrandCamp – more than once! My wife and I have been blown away by the impact it has had on all of us. Witnessing my parents and in-laws loving my kids by making Jesus the center of their relationships is a beautiful encouragement. Knowing that we as parents are not alone in this task is a tremendous blessing. Watching my children grow closer to their grandparents in the context of Christ’s love is another powerful testimony of God’s grace. Yes, Grandpa, Grandma, Oma, and Papa will always be sources of fun, games, cookies, and presents. But the spiritual influence and discipleship that occur in, with, and under all of these temporal and sometimes seemingly mundane interactions make them of eternal value. And camp is just the start. The intentionality introduced, taught, and fostered at GrandCamp continues day after day, year after year. As a parent, I am overwhelmed by the camp’s impact on all three generations and, no doubt, future generations to come.
Paul praised Lois for her sincere faith, which she passed on to her daughter and, in turn, to her grandson, Timothy. I doubt that there was an established chapter of the Christian Grandparenting Network Canada in Asia Minor in the first century. Still, the fact remains that grandparents have always left a legacy for their grandchildren to follow. GrandCamp is simply another fantastic tool in the church’s toolbox to foster obedience to Christ through the preaching and propagation of the gospel message to the world around us, starting in the branches of our own family tree.
I’ve loved camp for many years. That hasn’t changed, but that love has expanded to include this unique camp opportunity. For the spiritual obedience, joy, and growth that it fosters in all of us, I love sending my kids to GrandCamp.
GrandCamp is a ministry of Christian Grandparenting Network. Click here for more information about GrandCamp 2022 and locations in the United States and Canada.
Erik Jenson spent four years serving as the chaplain at a Bible Camp in central Alberta. A graduate of Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Minneapolis, he now serves at a rural church in Southwestern Ontario and works in the accounting department at CNTNR Modular Building Solutions. Erik and his wife, Joy, have four children, and the entire family loves GrandCamp.